Politics & Policies

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Federal Minimum Wage in US – It has lost 21% of its value since Congress last raised it

Saturday marks 12 years since the last federal minimum wage increase on July 24, 2009, the longest period in U.S. history without an increase. In the meantime, rising costs of living have diminished the purchasing power of a minimum wage paycheck. A worker paid the federal minimum of $7.25 today effectively earns 21% less than … Continue reading

Teleworking and Labour Laws in Canada – The emphasis should be on removing barriers that inhibit working from home

Many of our labour laws and regulations were established in an earlier era when the economy was vastly different than it is today. Just as technological change has made many of our production procedures and skills obsolete, it is not surprising that many of our labour policies would be obsolete. And just as there is … Continue reading

Middle Class in Canada – The policy changes required

Since 1976, however, the growth in average real weekly earnings has slowed dramatically, and now would take more than 400 years to double. Because housing prices are imperfectly reflected in the Consumer Price Index this understates the stagnation of wages relative to the most significant cost for the Canadian dream. In 1976 the average price … Continue reading

Beveridge Curve and Covid in US – It has shifted substantially outward since the start of the pandemic

The ratio of job vacancies to hiring is at an all-time high, and in line with the hiring difficulties highlighted by many employers. The Beveridge Curve, which captures the negative relationship between the job opening rate and the unemployment rate, has shifted substantially outward since the start of the pandemic. As a result, a given … Continue reading

Unemployment Insurance (UI) System in US – A plan to reform it

The unemployment insurance (UI) system has played an important role in delivering relief during the current pandemic. At the same time, this experience has highlighted the important challenges facing the UI system due to poor and underfunded administrative capacities, too few unemployed workers qualifying for UI benefits, inadequate levels of regular UI benefits, lack of … Continue reading

15$ Federal Minimum Wage in US – Most Americans support it

About six-in-ten U.S. adults (62%) say they favor raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, including 40% who strongly back the idea. About four-in-ten (38%) say they oppose the proposal, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted April 5-11. The Biden administration and many congressional Democrats favor increasing the federal minimum wage … Continue reading

Apprenticeship Levy in UK – A substantial shift away from lower-level apprenticeship starts to higher-level starts

The English apprenticeship system has experienced a series of major reforms in recent years, affecting apprenticeship length, quality, level and funding. In particular, the UK government has introduced an Apprenticeship Levy to help fund apprenticeship starts for large employers. Since April 2017, all employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million contribute … Continue reading

Upskilling and Reskilling in UK – Government’s landmark programme : Lifetime Skills Guarantee

In September 2020, the UK government announced a Lifetime Skills Guarantee, which aims to transform the training and skills system to ensure more people can gain sought-after skills and improve their career prospects. We’ve put together this Lifetime Skills Guarantee FAQ to help you get the funded training you may be eligible for under this … Continue reading

Covid, Immigration and Labour Markets in Europe – Policymakers should take steps to clearly communicate the rationale behind labour migration policies

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a historic economic recession with significant consequences for employment and, in turn, immigration and skills policy. While it remains to be seen how lasting the pandemic’s effects will be on the worst-hit sectors, such as hospitality, leisure, and tourism, the crisis appears to be entrenching existing … Continue reading

Recovery from Covid and Jobs in US – More jobs and more skills needed

Permanently displaced workers now total nearly 4 million and rising, with the heaviest concentration among fairly low-wage workers. Their skill sets and work experience will not immediately lead them to new jobs, and they face the prospect of long periods without work or lower wages than before, even if the overall labor market tightens. For … Continue reading

‘Work & Skills’ for the Long-Term Unemployed in UK – Between 1 to 1.6 million people who have been out of work for 12 months or more

A new ‘Work & Skills’ initiative is needed for people who are long-term unemployed. Next year there could be between 1 to 1.6 million people who have been out of work for 12 months or more. This could be the highest since the 1980s and will have drastic implications for families and whole communities across … Continue reading

Recovery After Covid in Canada – New spending should target the problems that are holding Canada’s productive capacity back

Any further debt-financed stimulus should be temporary, essential, and targeted to improving the economy’s productive capacity, says a new report from the C.D. Howe Institute. At their most recent meeting, the Fiscal and Tax Working Group discussed what form new fiscal stimulus should take, but remained unconvinced that a large stimulus package is appropriate at … Continue reading

Platform Work in Europe – 6 recommandations for future policy development

Policy Brief #3 focuses on the impacts of the digitalisation of work via platforms, sometimes called ‘platform work’ and delivered through a business model often referred to as ‘Uberisation’. Drawing on the existing evidence base, it outlines the opportunities and challenges of this work. It then summarises current policy thinking before recommending that future policy … Continue reading

Apprenticeship in US – How to build and sustain a high-quality system

The 2016 election heightened an ongoing debate in the United States about how best to respond to two of the foremost economic challenges of the current era: stagnant wages and a dearth of promising career prospects for American workers without a bachelor’s degree. These challenges persist despite a dramatic increase in recent decades in years … Continue reading

Minimum Wage in US – CBO on the impacts of a $15 per hour by June 2025 on the federal budget

If enacted at the end of March 2021, the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 (S. 53, as introduced on January 26, 2021) would raise the federal minimum wage, in annual increments, to $15 per hour by June 2025 and then adjust it to increase at the same rate as median hourly wages. In this … Continue reading

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